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Columbus man charged after wife’s dog stomped to death

Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 7:57 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A Columbus woman is dealing with the loss of her dog. She says she had to put her dachshund down after her husband stomped it to death.

“I never thought a human could be so cruel or do what he did to that poor dog,” said Jennifer Reese, co-worker of dog’s owner.

Police say 26-year-old Charles Van Pelt is being charged with aggravated cruelty to an animal for the incident - a felony offense that comes with a minimum penalty of one year jail time, according to Georgia law.

“He did voice his dislike towards Penny because he says his wife loved the dog more than she did him,” Reese said.

Loren Van Pelt, Penny’s owner and Charles wife, did not want to relive the day and express her thoughts on camera. However, she says the day started off like any other for the couple.

“He dropped her off at work, told her to have a good day, gave her a kiss, and then left,” Reese said. “That was at 12 o’clock. A few minutes after she got here, her neighbors called her on her cell phone telling her she needs to get home.”

In surveillance video provided by Van Pelt’s neighbor, which is Charles’ brother, you can briefly see the 26-year-old man calmly walk up to the dog’s kennel, corner it, and proceed to stomp the animal repeatedly.

Less than 15 minutes later, Loren and her coworkers are seen rushing in to try and save the dog from the attack.

“He was standing over there watching Penny seize and he pointed to Penny and says there’s your killer dog right there,” Reese recalled. “I automatically went to grab Penny up and get it to the vet.”

The dog survived the attack, but 30 hours later had to be put down, according to Reese.

“When I saw his face, he had no remorse,” Reese said. “He still has no remorse for what he did.”

According to court documents, Van Pelt is due back in court Thursday afternoon for a bond hearing.

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